Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 10, 2020 is:
troubadour • TROO-buh-dor • noun
1 : one of a class of lyric poets and poet-musicians often of knightly rank who flourished from the 11th to the end of the 13th century chiefly in the south of France and the north of Italy and whose major theme was courtly love
2 : a singer especially of folk songs
“John Prine was a raspy-voiced heartland troubadour who wrote and performed songs about faded hopes, failing marriages, flies in the kitchen and the desperation of people just getting by. He was, as one of his songs put it, the bard of ‘broken hearts and dirty windows.'” — Matt Schudel, The Independent (UK), 19 Apr. 2020
“With strict social distancing and isolation directives in place at care centers and assisted living facilities, Bressan has adopted the role of a wandering troubadour, offering songs both sacred and secular from outside the windows of patients like Sherry.” — Jon Pompia, The Pueblo (Colorado) Chieftain, 8 Apr. 2020
Did you know?
In the Middle Ages, troubadours were the shining knights of poetry (in fact, some were ranked as high as knights in the feudal class structure). Troubadours made chivalry a high art, writing poems and singing about chivalrous love, creating the mystique of refined damsels, and glorifying the gallant knight on his charger. Troubadour was a fitting name for such creative artists: it derives from an Old Occitan word meaning “to compose.” In modern contexts, troubadour still refers to the song-meisters of the Middle Ages, but it has been extended to cover contemporary poet-musicians as well.